Wisdom Pickers

As a “picker”, I know what it is like to search hard for treasure. I’ll faithfully go to numerous thrift stores, yard sales, or any other venue on a regular basis, seeking all sorts of “treasure” to turn a profit. This morning when I read Proverbs 8:11, I was cut to the heart: “For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.” Do I seek wisdom like I seek out world treasures? It does not say that “some” desirable things cannot compare with her, but that “all” things desired cannot compare with her. We spend so much time seeking things in this world, which will ultimately perish, while giving feeble efforts to the search for wisdom. The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord and is compared with riches and jewels because of it’s worth. Wisdom is used in the daily transactions of our lives, it adorns the individual who possesses it and it is attractive to those who do not have it. However, it is not easily obtained and must be “diligently” (v.17) sought after. We need to be wisdom seekers, watching daily for ways to gain more and not neglecting the opportunities presented to us. If we find wisdom, we have found true wealth, life and favor from the Lord. Now that is a treasure hunt worth embarking on.
Fly Fishing Tip: Making the cast count.
The first year I started fly fishing I almost threw in the towel. I had a SouthBend rod from Walmart and couldn’t cast to a fish let alone catch one. Determined to change this situation I took a paper plate with a weight on it, put it in a field and began to practice til my arm fell off (not really). This proved to be one of the most important disciplines I learned. Every cast counts so you want to make each cast a good one. The result: less spooked fish, less strain on your arm, more fish in the net. You should be able to accurately place your fly within inches of your target. You should also be ready for all sorts of situations like casting with your non-denominate arm and backcasting to a fish. The only way to achieve this is to practice, practice, and practice. . 


“…who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
Romans 1:18b
If you or I were to have a conversation with someone about the topic of “truth” today you may walk away from it second guessing your own name. So before we can know the “truth” We have to establish the truth about, well, truth. To begin with, logically something that is inherently true is true whether I believe it or not. Truth exists “outside of the mind”¹. Postmodernists want to define truth as belief, concluding that we can never really know what is real therefore truth is what we perceive. This line of thinking leads nowhere fast because we can never truly judge what is “true”. Another aspect of truth is that it is consistent or coherent. For instance, as Christians we believe in grace. Therefore grace must be seen in all of my life. If I find that I am showing grace only in certain instances or with particular individuals then I am not living truthfully. Finally, truth must be knowable. If we cannot know truth than our entire worldview falls apart and we live in a constant lie. This is one of the biggest arguments of our day, that we cannot really know what is true. However, we see that this is only applied to certain realms, particularly the religious one, which brings us to the verse above. People suppress (hold back, prevent, restrain) the truth so they do not have to live in line with it. But this is the biggest deceit of all, because what those individuals are doing in the name of freedom and self preservation ultimately ends in servitude and destruction. So when Jesus says, “I am the truth”, do we believe Him? If so, are we living in line with that truth? There is no middle ground. Either this is true or not. We can suppress it or face it, but either way the ramifications are huge….truthfully.
¹ Philosophy News, “What is Truth”. Pardi, Paul.

Fly Fishing Tip: The Alevin. An Alevin is a newly hatched par with the egg sac still attached. They mostly stay in the gravel but once in a while come out and free float through the water system. When they do they make an opportune meal for winter hungry fish. They hatch from late February through March. There are plenty of patterns out there, fish them deep and slow. Click here for a good pattern.

Gentle Jack

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his godly ones”
Psalm 116:15

Years ago, when I first started Bible college, I met a man who left a lasting impression on my soul; his name was Rev. Jack Christensen. Jack was a missionary in Pakistan, a pastor, teacher, and president of New England Bible College. The list of his accomplishments for the kingdom could go on and on. However, in all of these roles he was one of the most godly men I have ever had the honor of knowing. Jack was the type of guy whom you could have a conversation with and feel like you had just listened to 18 sermons, mostly ones on humility because his life was a sermon. A sermon that covered topics such as faithfulness, humility, courage, trust, love, respect, prayer, truth, goodness, kindness and especially gentleness. I say especially gentleness because he could tell you some of the hardest truths you needed to hear without being hard in his expression of those truths. When I reflected on Rev. Jack’s life, this characteristic of his leapt out at me. His gentleness was something I always desired, and still do desire to emulate. It makes sense that gentleness would be such a strong fruit in Jack’s life because this characteristic belongs to Christ. If any of you knew Jack, you knew one thing for sure: he knew Jesus. He knew Him so well that the Lord poured through every aspect of his life. So though we are happy that Jack is now with the Lord, whom he served, we are sad because there is one less man on earth who resembles our Lord so well. Rev. Jack you will be missed by all who knew you, thank you for such a Christlike example!

King Jesus

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6
When mankind rejects God, the only hope left for man is himself. This reality became very evident during our country’s last election. All hope appeared to be lost: for some in the victory and others in the defeat. However, despite who wins or loses, Christians must point themselves, and others, to the only hope for man, Jesus Christ. For it is Christ alone who is worthy of our allegiance. Isaiah 9:6 makes it clear that He is more than qualified. As Counselor, we will grow wise from listening to Him, for His words are life. He will never be brash and all His words are true. As God, He is all powerful; no enemy can stand against Him. As Everlasting Father, His rule is without end. As the Prince of Peace,. it is He alone who will bring harmony to this sin-filled world. This is the hoped for Ruler. Christ alone is the One we place our full allegiance in, and it is our duty and joy as Christians to proclaim His rule until He comes! 
Come Lord Jesus, even so, come!
Fly Fishing tip of the week: Read the water.
So many times I will fish one of my favorites rivers and expect all the fish to be in the exact same spot as the last time that I fished it. Not so. Rivers constantly change and when a big storm hits they can change a lot. So before plowing into the water take time and note the changes that may have taken place since the last time you’ve fished that water. Has the level increased or decreased? Is there any new debris that may provide new lies? Asking some of these questions before you start may eliminate that skunk smell at the end of the day.

A “Little” Insight

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…” Lk.16:10
This refers to our use of worldly wealth here on earth, but other areas of responsibility should not be neglected. I have worked in a correctional facility for several years now and I think about this principal as I see new hires come and go-mainly with regards to time. Like any other job, we are supposed to be on time. This is the simplest of all expectations when it comes to work. Arriving on time is also a tell tale sign of reliability. I have seen new hires come in late to their initial training, (not just once but several times) however, they seemed to have “time” to stop at Dunkin Donuts and grab a coffee. So, if I were a supervisor and saw this, why would I entrust to them greater responsibility when basic expectations are not met? Likewise, how can we, in our Christian walk, expect God to entrust us with certain ministries or careers when we haven’t shown ourselves to be faithful in the little jobs he has given us? We must not forget our character is a sum total of our individual traits.  On June 24, 2000 the New York Times reported the following story: 
J. P. Morgan & Company, a bank worth $21 billion, was disconnected from the Internet on June 13, 2000 for failure to pay a $35 bill. The venerable Wall Street firm found itself without a Web site or an e-mail connection to the outside world because it had failed to renew the registration of www.jpmorgan.com , the domain name that serves as its address on the World Wide Web. Throughout the day, clients were unable to visit the Web site or exchange e-mail messages with the firm’s bankers and traders. All that frustration could have been averted if Morgan had sent a check for $35 for the annual registration fee to Network Solutions, a domain-name registrar in Herndon, Virginia. It pulled the plug on Morgan six weeks after Morgan’s bill came due and after sending the firm at least three bills, said Chris Clough, vice president for corporate communications at Network Solutions.
Granted, $35 dollars doesn’t seem much to a billion dollar company but it affected the entire organization that day. Our stewardship with little things in our lives is like the individual strokes on a painting forming a “picture of faithfulness”. What does yours look like?


Fly Fishing tip of the Week: Color Spectrum
After watching a video on advanced streamer fishing with Kelly Galloup I learned a simple but effective method when trying to figure out what color is working. Most of the time we change the color of our flies with no pattern behind it. Galloup suggests transitioning from one end of the spectrum to the other and so forth. If you start w/ black and that’s not working go to white. After you do change flies place the used fly on a drying pad or in a separate box so you know what colors you have tried so far. 
Tight Lines!


Unworthy Slaves

Unworthy Slaves

So you, too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'” Lk. 17:10
 Today we are seeing the disappearance of words like “duty” and “ought”. I remember that when I first entered the Navy, the word “duty” took on a whole new meaning. I actually came to realize that I did have an obligation to give back to my country which had given me so much. However, after a short time that sense left and once again I was performing my “duties” only to be praised and recompensed. 
The Christian life can be the same way. We can start out serving joyfully and with the understanding that this is what I “ought to” have always done. But this, too, changes over time and when we feel we are not appreciated for what we have done we become embittered and cynical. I am just as guilty as the next guy. So what’s Jesus’ answer to this? Well, He basically throws a bucket of ice water on us. He gives us a reality check and puts things into perspective using the illustration of a servant. Here the servant’s work is not done when he comes in from the field. Why? He’s a servant. It’s his role all the time and it does not change. His completed work is what is expected of him, nothing more, nothing less: his duty. Jesus gives us the perfect example. He came “not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.” Keeping things in perspective always helps with our own expectations of others and the recognition we think we deserve.
Fly Fishing tip of the day:  Bait fish will take the path of least resistance when avoiding predators. This makes sense, right? So why do I always cast my streamers “down and across”? Switch it up and cast upstream bringing the fly back towards you. This will imitate the natural path of the bait fish. It also enables you to be behind the fish lowering the percentage of spooking and allowing for a better hookset since the fish will eat the fly headfirst. Make sure though that you are keeping line tension by picking up the line as the fly moves towards you. Depending on the current you may have to be pretty quick.